This is the second book I wanted to rave about which I received free from Bethany House Publishers as part of their blogger review program in exchange for an honest review here on my blog. I loved this book. Love, as in I-wanted-to-read-this-book-from-start-to-finish-in-one-sitting-but-life-happens type love. I usually only have time to read in the evenings, after I’ve put the boys down for bed and provided I don’t have a lot of work to do. This also means that I stayed up until 1 or 1:30 am most mornings for a week until I finished this book.
This book stuck with me, is still sticking with me. I finished it a few days ago, and I just can’t stop thinking about the characters and wondering where the rest of this series is going! There are very few books in my life that I can say that I was literally IN the book with the character. Every night I would step out of this world and straight into 1860s Nashville, Tennessee and I was standing right there next to the characters. Tamera Alexander had me crying, laughing, talking out loud, holding my breath, and heart pacing from excitement along with these characters. My emotions ran the gauntlet in the book with Claire, Sutton, Adelicia and the many supporting characters. I felt them all, and felt them deeply. I truly appreciate this kind of writing, and haven’t had this sort of excitement for a book (and soon to be series) since reading the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. My grandmother and I used to talk about how there didn’t seem to be writing in this day and age that had the writing that classic authors engaged readers in, and for the most part I still believe that. Tamera Alexander is definitely in that class of author for me though, and I applaud her for taking the time (and pages! this is definitely not a short book, which I love!) to really develop a story line as well as the characters and their emotionality.
As a Christian author, I feel she was genuine in her placement of Scripture to flow with the storyline. I think part of the reason this book is so phenomenal to me is because I was like Claire, I came to a relationship with Jesus later in life, after a sketchy past. I was touched by the love story between Sutton and Claire as well, probably because that, too, was similar in some ways to how I fell in love with my husband. We were the best of friends first, with mutual attraction, but our friendship is still something I treasure more than I could ever say. I felt that connection between Claire and Sutton. (My husband is also Southern, so maybe that also echoed for me part of his charm)
I definitely, definitely recommend this book if you are a sucker for a beautiful love story, like me!